Many years ago I joined FetLife, but never used it since then. Recently, thanks to Vanessa the subject reappeared (see What is your FetLife ID? forum thread), and I decided to have a look at this social network again.
Despite what Vanessa said, I always thought that FetLife is more a dating site than a community one. Probably I’m wrong so let’s have a look at it from all other sides except the dating one.
Yes, it is s social network with all the necessary attributes (profiles, time-lines/walls, pictures, friends, events and friend feeds) and all related drawbacks and inconveniences (you can’t find anything, messages disappear in the past, the walls look messy with all likes, activities, friend requests, etc).
The design and interface is cheaper and messier than FB or G+, what makes FL even less usable, but everything is compensated by the allowed content. You will not be censored or banned for publishing your neighbour’s cock or tits.
The API is the most obscure and the most non-standard I have ever seen. No wonder FetLife is not integrated into anything. Even the Android App is pathetic. To do something with the FL you MUST go to the website.
To find (and be found by) people with similar interests you can choose your fetishes or check who chose a particular fetish. And here where the chaos is even more obvious. Fetishes are not moderated. You can create your own, regardless if there is already a similar one, but with an extra space, with an extra capital letter, with different word order or simply with a mistake.
So, for example, there are:
Latex (96,306 users)
Latex, latex and more latex (55)
Latex & Rubberrubber/latex (267)
all rubber/latex (1,153)
latex, rubber (54)
latex and rubber (71)
Rubber latex (45)
latex rubber (50)
Latex & Rubber (276)
All things Latex (249)
rubber, latex (8)
And this is for one word “Latex” only! Probably there is a tactic for that, like there is more chance if you are noticed in a group with 6 members than with 90000. But still it does not make any sense. Also, you can’t search for people by more than one fetish.
I had some time during one boring conference call and filled in some of my “fetishes” or interests (the list is still growing!). See the attached screenshots :D Absolutely useless activity, but my imagination was boiling what led to a gorgeous erection. So, the goal was achieved :D
The groups (or forums). Same mess. E.g. there are two separate forums “Self Bondage” and “selfbondage” (there are more, BTW).
The only useful feature is to check who lives around, look at their interests and then decide what to do with it. Hey, what if it’s you boss (see also Fetish, bondage and sex at work forum thread). Oh yeah, it’s that dating side again! :D
Do I miss the point somewhere? This is my profile, BTW: https://fetlife.com/users/171318, feel free to send me a friend request ;)